The latest in laptops for students heading back to school

Tori Floyd

Whether you’re a college student who’s going to be hauling your laptop from class-to-class, or a high school student who wants the flexibility of writing papers anywhere, a light and versatile laptop is key to student life. And let’s be honest, if you’re going to be hauling it to school with you for the next four years, you want the latest and greatest. If you’re in the market for a new computer this year, here are five laptops to check out before you hit the books (bonus: alongside the price and where you can get these laptops, we’ve included links to some of the deals available for students, too).

Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook

You might be surprised by how big the 13-inch, 1080p screen on this laptop feels when you first see it. The whole ultrabook has been designed to have a similar footprint to Dell’s 11-inch models, making it extremely portable and functional. Weighing about 3 lbs, this laptop’s focus is on speed; Dell says the laptop can start up from cold in as little as 12 seconds, and when your laptop is asleep, the Intel Smart Connect Technology keeps all your email updated so you don’t have to wait for anything when you pop your computer open.

Student Price: Starting at $999.99. If you’re interested in some of the other Dell laptops, you can check out the ecoupon is offering with select laptops on their website.

Toshiba Satellite P50T

Launched earlier this summer, the P-Series offers the reliability of previous Satellite laptops from Toshiba, but in a package that’s 25 per cent thinner and an updated style. You can choose the options that are right for you, either touchscreen or non-touchscreen on the 15.6-inch screen model, or the non-touchscreen 17.3-inch model. To save it from occasional drops and bumps, the P-Series also has a HDD Impact Sensor and Shock Protection, so your hard drive is less likely to be damaged in a fall. The P50T featured here includes a touchscreen, 1 TB hard drive and 15.6” backlit display.

Student Price: Starting at $899.99, and available exclusively from Future Shop. If you’re interested in the other laptops in Toshiba’s Satellite series, you can take advantage of these bundles designed for students, which can include a wireless optical mouse, 500 GB hard drive, wireless Bluetooth speaker or Office Home and Student 2013.

[ Check out more Back-to-School tips in our Tech Guide ]

ASUS VivoBook S550

Take advantage of Windows 8 with this laptop’s touch-screen functionality. Weighing in at the upper end of the spectrum at 5.7 lbs, this laptop uses that heft to include a 15.6” glass touchscreen and brushed aluminum exterior. The ultrabook promises a wake-from-standby time of just two seconds, so you can get back to work quickly.

Student Price: Starting at $850, available now at Best Buy, Future Shop and Staples.

MacBook Air

If you’re interested in getting an Apple computer, the MacBook Air is both the entry-level laptop from the Cupertino company and the lightest laptop they have available. Weighing in at just under 2.4 lbs, this laptop ditches the disc drive so you have less to haul around. Instead, you can purchase programs you need online through the App Store. Available in 11” or 13” models, both offer great battery life (9 hours and 12 hours respectively) and features like an illuminated keyboard, flash storage and the most up-to-date wireless connectivity, 802.11ac.

Student Price: Starting at $949 at the Apple Store for Education. Students also get a bonus $100 gift card for the App Store.

Samsung Chromebook

As we touched on in our Quick Hit Review of the Samsung Chromebook earlier this year, this is a super light, easy to use laptop for people who are fans of Google products and are always going to have an online connection. Everything you do on the Chromebook is stored in the cloud, which is why you can cut down so much on the laptop’s weight. The computer, which runs a Google operating system, has a 6.5 hour batter and boots up in less than ten seconds.

Student Price: Starting at $270, available at Best Buy and Future Shop.

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